Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Didn't mean to be away this long...........

Once again the grands have been tremendously generous with the sharing of whatever is going around at school. And Sweet Man has seen fit to bring a different variety of germies on his days off. We are a household of hacking and wheezing.

I've not had energy to do much of anything except a whole lot of nothing. I can't even read, which normally would be my "get better" activity, because my eyes are watering and I haven't been able to focus for long. So I've been sedentary which is the curse of my fibro.....blah, blah, blah.

I been sick (said with a whole lot of whining).

But I am on the mend today. Haven't slept much but today I got up and the fog has lifted in my head. I'm not even party cloudy.

So there have not been any advances on the Shadow of Oz front.....well physically. In my mind I've gone on lots of mini vacays to the Emerald City, the countryside and even to the sight of "The Accident" involving a certain wickedy sister and a far flung house. So today, while I can still remember the brilliance of my thoughts, as if, I am writing all of my ideas down so that I can play at Celebrate Oz.


Have you thought what you might do for the celebration? Or if you aren't going to participate, is there something you've always wanted to know, or see in Oz? I hope that if you are tettering on the fence that you will jump into the fun and join us to Celebrate Oz, Shadow of Oz.

Today I am planning to work on some hand pieced fabric Valentoonies. While we were putting away the holiday decorations, I convinced Shelley to bring in my stash bins of cotton fabrics. Poor girl just about herniated herself with the weight of the bins. YIKES, I hadn't remembered what a hoarder I am with fabric. 1/4 yard bits of this and that. Some of the fabric is from my Mom's stash. So I am incorporating vintage bits with newer fabric that I couldn't live without and making some Valentine gifties. I best hurry, I only have a week until they need to be in the mail. I suppose I should really go through all that fabric and sort it out but NAH. I've done the January purge in every closet, drawer, cupboard in the house already. I'm just going to have to suffer through having a delightful collection of fabrications. And that's the name of that tune.

We're expecting, according to the weatherman, the biggest snow storm of the season tonight. So, Sweet Man and I dropped off the grands at school, went to get groceries and more kleenex (much needed) and got ourselves home to enjoy a day with our favorite coffee, some tuna melt sandwiches and tomato soup for lunch and catching up on some TV programs that we have been too tired to stay up to watch. I hope you are warm, healthy and pleasantly entertained.

Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Were you thinking of Celebrate Oz??????????

Me too. Can you believe that this will be year 5? Me either.

I've been pondering how we might play this year.

What we might share with each other and what that play might be.

Well.........I think I have hit upon a thought. The first year we just celebrated Oz itself.
The second year we did it again with what I referred to as Son of Celebrate Oz the sequel.
The third year we aLterREd Oz. (remember the donkeys of Oz?????)
And last year, we checked out the Hues of Oz. There were so many different colors of fun.

This year let us stand in the Shadow of Oz and tell the spooky ooky, oogley boogley truth of how Oz also has a not so shiney, can be scarey, tarnished or burnished effigy. In other words......scary, dark and dangerous Oz will be our theme this year.

So many of you have commented on the fact that Oz frightened you as a child. Be it the melting witch or the flying monkeys or any number of characters in the books. This is the inspiration for this years theme. I have always felt that Oz had not reveled all it's secrets. So this may be your chance to let us get a glimpse of your perception of what is hiding in the shadows.

Let us Celebrate the Shadow of Oz.

This means you can go dark, go wild, go underground, go whichever way you choose. Tell us how the books, or movies gave you a scare or a fright. Or maybe the shadow inspired you to tell of another part of Oz that the sun has not quite touched. Write, paint, draw, construct, design, or whatever it is that you would do to make The Shadow of Oz come alive on April 11.

The rules are simple as always.
Let me know that you would like to be a part of The Shadow of Oz in a comment on this post. Post the Celebrate Oz button on your blog so that your followers will know that you are participating and can link back to this page with the participants listed.

Be prepared to go live with your post on April 10, 2015 at 10:00pm, so that we will all be ready to party on April 11. After going live, come back here and add your blog link and let's see what comes out of the shadows.

If you decide you can't participate, just let me know. I'll put folks on our participants list all the way up to midnight on April 10. So this gives you lots of time, almost 3 months to prepare. And if on April 11 you do not post back to this blog post with your blog link, I will then know you aren't going to be playing and take you off of the list of participants. Also if you could keep your post up for at least the weekend, it takes that long to go to all the blogs and enjoy the party.

It is not necessary to have a giveaway but I know that so many of the participants and attendees from years past have loved the opportunity to win something special from the hosts.

Any questions or concerns please contact me. Afterall, I want everyone to understand what Celebrate Oz is and have a great time playing. I do hope you will participate.

So there you have it. Celebrate Oz 2015's theme is SHADOW OF OZ.


Here is the artwork for the button, courtesy of my very talented and generous friend Shelle of Sunshine Shelle. The WWotW never looked so wide eyed and ready to party.


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A different kind of update...............

Most of the time, when giving you an update, I babble on about the grands, Shelle and SM. Today's post will be different in that I am going to give you my state of the olde broad update.

I reported to you on my fun and games fungal extravaganza. The skin Dr. got it wrong in early December by prescribing some ointment ($500.00) and some athlete's foot powder. The ER Dr got it wrong when my body added some spots about the size of a quarter over 50% of my upper torso and he prescribed nystatin which is for yeast. The skin Dr. read me the riot act when I went back the end of December saying that if I wasn't going to follow his directions.....and that's when he lost me and I lost my temper. No, not Oma! I can only suffer fools, a Dr treating me like I'm addled brained and irritating rash and burning itch for just so long (from the middle of November to be precise). Then the temper of the Irish/Mexican in me just blows like Old Faithful in Yellowstone. Loud, heated, fast and messy.
nummular eczema
probably caused by the stress of the primary fungal infestation
After my outburst of despair and anger, I was handed a prescription for an ointment that was the strongest Skin Dr. man could prescribe. That was on Dec. 30th and by Jan 1.........I was on the mend. Today the quarter rash is just barely visible. Which means I can feel human again and not like the walking plague. The itch and burning is gone and this ointment was only $10. And you know, it felt good to say I wanted an answer for the problem because I deserved it. A huge first timer for me.

All of this mini rant brings me to a very late but very important declaration. I have a word for the year 2015. This word picked me out of the lineup. Usually I do the picking of a watch word for the year. But this year, I pondered so many avenues of improvement, ways of becoming a better person, things I wanted to accomplish and none of the words that fit that bill...........picked me. Instead acceptance just came into view and settled in my heart and mind.

Acceptance, not acquiescence. Let us be clear about that slight difference. I will accept what is possible, attainable and appropriate. I will accept that I have talents, flaws and life skills that can be improved, but are acceptable none the less. I will allow myself to be..........acceptable, good enough, deserving. I also will accept others for who they are.

I know, it sound egocentric to a certain degree but that's okay for someone who for the better part of 40 years has put herself last. My first 25 were very egocentric as they should have been. I am going to claim that I am acceptable enough to have "firsts" sometimes. The biggest, best and prettiest sometimes. And not pick up any guilt from those actions. I am hoping that by giving up the old behavior of self denial and thinking I am not deserving, I will find a new way to see myself and those that love me. I deserve it and so do they.

And I suppose if I am going to be fair, don't you hate it when life demands a pound of flesh (so to speak) that I owe this word discovery to all those folks who have ever made me mad, suffered my ire and irked my chicken. Because in the past I would always feel terrible, guilty and self loathing.....but with my new word I am letting go of those ancient ickies that formed my well of anger and only deal in the now. And I don't feel the least bit guilty or bad now when I speak the truth in controlled auditory levels. Amazing stuff clarity!

GK hums the theme from Frozen to me (Let It Go) when I start to falter and Ry has put himself in charge of doling out my daily dose of positive affirmations. What a sweet, riotous mess he is. Some of his affirmations have been more of a peek into the mind of a 10 year old with a skewed perspective on life. He told me, "I make him as happy as getting to the last level of Mindcraft". And that I am, "As tricky as level 3". (Whatever all that means, I know it is a compliment.)

So stand back negative feelings...........Ry has put the Mindcraft juju on you. Tee hee


Have a wonderful self accepting day my lovelies. Let the past just be that.......past.

Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda


Sunday, January 4, 2015

And so the new year begins with promises and hopefulness...............

And for an olde broad like me a look back in time.

I suppose all of us were taught to look both ways before crossing the street. And in a way I do that at the beginning of any new chapter in life. Look at what has occurred to bring me to this "street" and I imagine what the new chapter will or could provide.

And because we are here at the first full moon of 2015, it seems like an appropriate time to reflect and expect.

When I was a child, there was as much magic for me in the counting down to and entering the new year as there was for Christmas or my birthday. It was so exciting to hear that countdown to a new beginning. But as an adult it became rather common place and mundane to experience the newness based on the disappointments of false expectations, broken resolutions and just being a jaded adult, I suppose. I spent many years just letting things pass me by.

I feel as though I have come full circle in life in many areas, not the least of which is the way I view new, unopened, squeeky clean events. I know much of this feeling comes from my observance of and homage paid to the ever constant moon. I have made it a point in the last two years to be mindful of the cycle of the moon and my relationship to her. It has brought me a keener sense of living, if you will. I am in the moment. I am relishing what I have seen and what I hope to see.....and be.....and........

photo by womanstoryteller
that has been my gift to myself. Being faithful to the cycle of life that brings me close to my own magic has been a true gift and a healing.

I hope that at this full moon, you too will find that new beginning that charges your own magic.

Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Happy New Years wish for you all.....................

It is my hope that you leave the troubles of 2014 behind. Build on all of the successes of last year and arrive at 2015 with an interest in something wonderful to do, friends to urge you on and peace when you can find it.

The Cuckoos of the Casa are in for the evening. All manner of calories to be consumed and are arranged on the kitchen counters and plastic plates are the dinnerware of the evening. The Cuckoos have some favorite noshes which include; sweet and sour meatballs, little smokies in BBQ sauce, poor mans caviar (chopped black olives and cream cheese served on crackers), chips and dip as well as sweet and spicy pecans and hot cocoa mini cupcakes. We are going to have Naughty Rudolph's or Butter Beer (a nod to our all day Harry Potter movie fest tomorrow) to welcome the New Year. Although I can guarantee this old broad and her paramour will be in bed long before the striking of Midnight.
Here's the recipes for the drinks:

NAUGHTY RUDOLPH
2 cups ice
1 cup ginger ale
1/4 cup Mario Cherries
3 ounces vanilla vodka

Add all ingredients to the blender, blend until smooth. You can dress them up with pretzel antlers and a Mario cherry for the red nose.

BUTTER BEER
1 ounce vanilla vodka
1 ounce butterscotch schnapps
1 ounce dark beer (Guiness)
10 ounces cream soda
topped with whipped cream

Pour vodka, schnapps, and beer into a glass mug. Slowly pour in the cream soda. Allow bubbles to dissipate. Top with whipped cream.

We are not drinkers but these two drinks sounded like something we might enjoy. Especially for a toast to everyone's good health.

So from the Cuckoos at the Casa to your house.....Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Wow, the trashman is gonna have a hard time................

hauling away all the paper and boxes from the gifting at Casa de Cuckoo.

photo from Pinterest
But I love the dottiness
There are only 5 Cuckoos currently in residence here. When I was growing up, in this same house, my brother and sister and their families would come over on Christmas morning and there were 15 of us tearing away at packages. I know it must have been tons more paper and boxes than we had this year but for some reason, it just seemed like so much.

Today was a quiet day. SM had to work today and the rest of us were super lazy. The grands played video games and Shelley and I watched a couple of chick flicks, grazed our way through the goodies that we baked including the yummy Jam Cake and just relaxed. I talked on the phone to some of my lovelies and then made a very none traditional Christmas day dinner. It's been a fun lead up to and including Christmas but I must confess, I was ready to take down the tree this afternoon. The older I get the more I am so over stuff and ready to go on to the next. How about you?

Tomorrow Shelley will have to go back to work after her 4 days off. The grands have some work of their own to catch up on and I must confess that I need to spend this week getting some paper work done.

So I'm taking a break until New Year's Eve from blogging. Have fun this last week of the year. And I'll read you soon.

Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Wishing all of you my lovelies...............

the best Holiday wishes that can be.
From all the CUckoos of the Casa and me.

these little guys were my before Christmas gift from the CUckettes

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Well here we are at the night before the night before............

and creatures are stirring in this old house.

another favorite book from Ms. April at The Angry Gnome
Thought I would share the last of the Christmas deco photos and some last minute donkeys.

Made this pair for Shelley when she was a little girl.

Shelley's collection of nutcrackers, with my gnome nutcracker and books



But first I will tell you what I got for Solstice. A whopping case of ringworm. Ewwwwwwww. I know you are all jealous as jealous can be.

I have had a fungal infection and the medication that my dermotologist prescribed just wasn't clearing it up. And Sunday morning when I woke up I was burning and scratching almost everywhere, behind my ears, on my upper arms, and places that I will just leave to your imagination. Yikes. So I took an antihistamine and called it happy. After all I have an appointment with the skin guy next Monday. But as the day turned to evening, I gave up the ghost of "nothing's really wrong" and down shifted into, "I can't stop itching and scratching to save my life". So SM took me to the ER because SM said it looked like shingles. I have no idea what shingles look like but this stuff was rapidly taking over every square inch of skin I have. I don't think I would have been nearly as eager to go to the ER had it not been for the burning. I did not want to deal with Shingles, alone.

The Dr. saw me quickly (shock and wonder) because SM kept insisting that I had shingles. When the Dr. got a good look at my "blossomings" he said, nope, this is definately not shingles because Shingles will not cross the meridian of the body. You can have it on one side or the other but this was everywhere. And he thought it might be ringworm, which is not a worm at all but another variety of fungus. At any rate, I was in and out of the ER very quickly, got a prescription for some powder and today has been much better. I still look like I am trying to imitate my favorite red and white polka dotty, only reversed.

But I am better today, knock on Christmas cookies.

Once again the very best of the season in these old cards that show donkeys and gnomes.



Here are some photos that I know you all will love seeing. Shelley took GK and her nerd herd to a local amusement park on Saturday to ride rides in the frigid temps (she's a better mom than I was to her). These kids are freshmen in high school but kids none the less. They stood in line with Shelley to tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas and the GK and Ry took a photo. They made friends with the elves, entertained the people in line with their silly but not too off colored remarks. Then the "naughty list" teenagers took a photo as well. Too funny.



Ohad, Johnny, Bella, GK and a the much too friendly elf.......

The Cuckettes at their finest
Anyway, Happy Holidays to all of you my lovelies from all the Cuckoos at the Casa.

Smooches and Christmas Squoozes, Oma Linda (in varying shades of red and white)

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Finally.....photos of the Christmas gifties...............

Sometimes I wonder what kind of evil plot I must have been a part of in one of my former lives to warrant the harassment I endure from my camera, computer and the Internet. Or maybe it's just I don't know what I'm doing. But I suspect it is a combination of both. I musta been a "bad puddy dat" and I have no tech skills. Whatever, the sun came out this morning and I tried again to get photos off of my camera and VIOLA. So a couple of weeks late and several dollars short................

The Cuckoos had a great time creating something from something else....our favorite doings.


Tart pans, vintage inspired Christmas paraphernalia, salt shakers, cotton and fake snow made for a fun couple of afternoons. We made gifties for some of my pals, some teacher appreciation presents for Ry guy and Carrot Cake to give (which the teachers liked), and some pay it forwards which we left in shopping centers, libraries and parks. We even got to watch folks as they came upon the gifties. Most just grinned so big and the Cuckettes got a warm heart moment.





So now we just have to wait for the Fat Man to arrive and shower the household with special tokens and gifts.

Once again, the house is decorated, the gifts are made, the baking is in full swing and we are so blessed.

Even the strawberry plants on the back porch are ready for the holidays.

 


Friday, December 19, 2014

3rd post in the Donkey Holiday extravaganza..........

Here are some more Donkeys wishing you a Happy Holiday season.

This grouping is less homogeneous and more general but still the Donkey theme reigns on.

And this time there is a story to go with it.

I bet you have wondered from time to time, why is this woman so obsessed with donkeys. Well here's the answer.

When I was 4, Mr. and Mrs. Valdez became very important people in my life. They were a sweet couple who were well into their seventies way back then. Mr. and Mrs. Valdez moved into their house a few months after we moved into our house on San Patricio near the country club in the south valley of Albuquerque. Mr. Valdez had won some money in a contest and they had moved out of the barrio and into a neighborhood that was less than a mile from their old house. They had children and grandchildren and were expecting their first great grandchild. All of their family lived in Mexico. So I became like an adopted grandchild next door. Mr. Valdez would call me over to feed the squirrels that lived in his outdoor oven and also to "help" him with the yard work. Mrs. Valdez always had cookies and juice waiting for us when we got finished and would regale me with wonderful stories of her childhood back in Vera Cruz. She had 11 sisters. She and her siblings would have to help their parents prepare the food that they sold in the mercado every day. They transported the food with the help of a pair of black donkeys that were named Joaguin and Miguel (Keno and Mike). She told some of the most delightful stories of these long ears. She loved them and so then, did I.

Mr. and Mrs. Valdez were a perfect pair of ready made grandparents right next door and I loved them so much. My life is so much richer for the blessing of having known them.

Because of their win fall they were able to travel a lot and did so often and frequently. Europe, Asia, South America and even Australia were all on their agenda. And each and every time they came home from one of their adventures, as soon as they were able, they would have me come over and would regale me with their trip and present me with a memento from their travels. I bet you can guess what the gifts usually were. Yep, donkeys of all sizes and configurations. A virtual herd.

Where they went, what they saw and favorite points of interests were all topics of conversation. I sat for hours on the foot stool in the living room listening to what they had seen and done. I was enthralled by them and their life. By the time I was in second grade, I had a very rich background gleaned from the traveling vecinos next door and shared my "acquired" knowledge often and frequently with the conviction of one who had actually traveled with them.

That is how I started my life long collection of and obsession for all things donkey.

Every time I see a card or photo of a donkey, I can't help but fondly remember two lovely people who took time to be my surrogate grand parents and bestowed very thoughtful and welcomed momentos of their travels and a life long love of donkeys. I will never forget how special I felt when they shared themselves with me. It was the best gift anyone can receive.








I received this card from Mr. and Mrs. Valdez when I was 5. What a cutie pie she is.
I hope you have a lovely weekend lovelies and that you recall some wonderful memory. That's what this time of year should be about. Building on the good and making the future even better.

Happy Holidays, Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

2nd Donkey postings for the Holidays..............

Today it is snowing like crazy. The grands and I made our way to their respective schools and now I am going to take advantage of not going anywhere to make the traditional Jam Cake. It's a family recipe that my Mom made every year and all the Cuckoos love it. We always make it a week ahead and then let it "baste" in brandy. It's a drunken cake full of love.

Hope your week before Christmas Eve is a pleasant one and that you find time to do all that you want to do to get ready for the Holidays.

Only 4 more sleeps until Winter Solstice. We are almost ready to welcome the fae into the house for the winter. Takes some preparation but we'll get there. The gnomes have washed and hung up their laundry to dry. The gnome, elf tree is up and decorated and all that is left to do is make the thimble cookies and prepare the honeyed milk. After all we have to be ready for the return of the sun.

Hope you will enjoy the 2nd installment of Donkeys and the Holidays.








Donkeys and carts, donkeys and snow, I love them all.

Smooches and squoozes, Oma Linda

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Christmas present just for you.............

You know how I love me some donkeys........well, I gleaned these pictures from Pinterest that are both donkey and Christmas.

I hope you will enjoy the next three postings of adorableness.

I'm in the middle of baking my brains out for a cookie exchange and for the Cuckoos as you look at these.

Enjoy my friends...............






You notice angels and donkeys kinda go together......sweet innocence.

Tomorrow another theme will blind you with donkeyness.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Holiday redo's for you............

Here are some things I've played with on PicMonkey. I should be doing other holiday stuff like packaging gifts and going to the post office but sitting here with my space heater, a cup of my favorite tea and procrastination staring me in the face...........

I chose to play instead. I found photos of old postcards and PicMonkey and I had some playtime. Happy Winter Season to you all.

I just love these advent calendars. Had some as a child and it was always a treat to open the little doors and know it was a countdown to Santa.

Snow, Gnomes and Mushrooms.....all my faves

I think these little guys have the right idea.....booze and brisk walk. Sounds good

Something very special about forest scenes and winter

Graphic Fairy always has the very best graphics to share for the holidays. This one is especially nice to play with.

We've been busy making teacher appreciation gifts and some pay it forwards. Every single idea came from Pinterest in one form or another. See, sometimes it's worth the hours  time spent looking at other people's pages. Thought I'd share the photos but I guess my camera has other ideas.....I'll work on that.

Happy Friday to you my lovelies,

Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A follow up to being concerned..........

First I want to thank all of you who commented and gave me your opinions. I think each person had valid thoughts and voiced them well.

I do need to say that race was never a part of my blog post for a reason. Each of the incidents only involved "white" victims. I can't speak to any other life or ethnicity but my own. I was so pleased that those of you who had feelings and personal knowledge about persons of color and how they might be treated by the police, spoke up in this forum. I am blessed by each of you and your hearts. I have said it before, I was grew up color blind and so are my daughter and grands. The vast mixing pot that is the southwestern USA afforded me that view. Color has never been used by any of us to describe a new friend. The new friend has always been a person first. I know that is not the case with all people.

Never just stagnant, the Cuckoos are moving forward with an idea planted long before I posted my blog post. Several of you suggested that "we" teach Ry what could be life saving techniques. It is amazing to me that even though we are miles and miles apart, so many are on the same wave length. We have spent many hours trying to do just that very thing. But there seemed to be something missing from our lesson plan. That something is to actually meet with police officers and let Ry meet them personally. That will be happening very soon thanks to another something that is in the near future.

Shelley had already been asked by the Special Education Development Team to be a parent representative and speaker in a round table with Albuquerque Police Department's Community Outreach. She will be a member of a team of teachers, parents and administrative persons from Albuq. Public Schools who will have the opportunity to avail APD with their insights into special needs children's responses or lack there of to stressful situations. She then is hoping to be one of the team that will speak to the Police Academy as well as the Sub Station roll call keynote speakers in the months to come. I am proud of her for  making herself part of a teaching experience and hopefully part of an answer to a need.

Once again thank you all for your kindness, your thoughts and your good advice for the Cuckoos.

Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Friday, December 5, 2014

I have a concern............

and I thought I would voice it here and get some feedback from you my lovelies.

In light of the recent police vs citizens shootings/killings and the ensuing violence, I have some personal concerns about my well being and the well being of my intimates (family, friends, neighbors).

Let me say that if I were ever in a situation where I was told by the police to raise my hands above my head or to put my hands on the back of my head, I would be unable to comply. My shoulder joints do not move that way anymore. If I were told to get down on the ground and lay face down, I would be unable to comply. I haven't been on the ground of my own free will in 9 years. If I was asked to put my hands behind my back, palms up. Nope, I couldn't. Would I be viewed by the police as being hostile, or uncooperative, yes. But that would not change the fact that I could not, not would not, comply and so...........would I be tazzed, shot, have a knee in my neck? I think so.

I am a fan of police. They are supposed to keep me safe and protected from the others in society that are not law abiding. I have taught my daughter and my grands to be respectful, polite and appreciative towards the police. Has that changed?

Yes, in my mind. I am fearful of those that I hold in esteem. Should I dwell on something that probably would never occur to me because I do follow the laws, I am respectful, I don't get into questionable situations. Probably not, because that would don't do me any good. But then that also begs the question, who chooses to be in questionable situations.....those that the police are to protect the community from?......maybe.

There was an incident where a 71 year old woman didn't get out of her car quickly enough for the officer who saw a BOLO saying that the make and model of the car she was driving had just been used in a robbery.  He yanked her out of the car, threw her on the pavement and proceeded to sit on her to subdue her. While he handcuffed her, she had a heart attack and went limp. He thought she was faking and dragged her to his squad car and then as he was going to put her in the backseat, he saw she was blue. He then called for emergency services. She died. The make and model of the car was spot on, the license plate however was from another state. But the lady who had just had her hair done that morning when the robbery was taking place was still dead.

I am the most concerned for my grandson. When in a stressful situation, he does not respond to verbal commands well. As a matter of fact he just blanks everything out and just stands there. Does that mean that a police person could see that as uncooperative, hell yes. And Ry, when grown, will be over 6 feet tall and large framed. More of a threat to the police, yes. Would they hesitate to draw down on him, hell no. Chatter caught on lapel cameras of officers indicates that just by looking at someone they can "size them up" as troublemakers, or worse the "perp", without anything more to go on.

Albuquerque Police Department has been under investigation by the Justice Department microscope for way too many shootings of unarmed people. You may have seen on the news the one where a homeless man, with autism and other disorders was killed in the foothills of Albuquerque. The reason he was shot, he did not comply with verbal commands, he was large, he was seen as a threat and he wasn't supposed to be camping out in that area. The chatter on the lapel camera indicated that the one officer who shot him said that he was crazy and they would need to take him down? He was "crazy" according to them, mentally ill and needed to be taken to the hospital, instead he was taken to the morgue.

Another young man in Seattle was shot and killed outside of a convenience store. Why? The police were answering a man with a gun call. He, his brother and his cousin were leaving the convenience store when the police arrived on scene. His brother and cousin complied to the verbal commands. This young man had his earbuds in and did not hear the commands. When he did turn around probably wondering where his companions were, he saw the police officer, reached to turn off his i-pod and was shot dead on the spot. He had no weapon, made no threat to the police but he was dead.

Do I blame the shooters in these horrible scenarios? Yes/No. Does it make me anymore secure about the police. No. I do understand that they risk their lives every time they answer a call, but are they not accountable for their actions and choices like the rest of us? Do they not carry the burden of proof in judging situations? I've never been a police officer, but being human, I know I have misjudged situations. I have over reacted, I have found fault before I knew but rather just felt something about someone. But I have also not reacted to things when I should have. There is that double edge sword that always comes into my thinking. I try to see all sides.

I sorrow for all those that have lost loved ones to questionable police killings, I sorrow for the police officers who mistakenly harm someone. And more importantly, I worry for all of us.

But this all begs the question? Should I walk through life afraid? No. Should I be aware of my surroundings and circumstances all the time? Yes. Can I protect those that I love, Maybe. Can I make a difference in this question? I don't know. What do you think? Are we powerless or do we have a voice or choice in this dilemma?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving...........

Greetings from Casa de Cuckoo.


Hope your holiday is smooth sailingly calm and fun lovingly sweet.

Our Thanksgiving this year is looking to be a Baby Bear kinda event for us.............just right.

I must wish my Sweet Man a Happy Anniversary. It's been 42 years of putting up with each other and having the best somebody to lean on. Here's to the next year of being together. We truly do deserve each other, and after doing this for so long, well it's pretty easy really.

After the rancid turkey fiasco of '12 and the "this wasn't Thanksgiving" casserole of '13......we did what any lazy and loving family would do. Have someone else do the work. Dinner will be prepared by Boston Market and we'll pick it up and warm it in the afternoon of Turkey day. This was orchestrated by the whole nest of Cuckoos and approved by each and every one. Sweet Man has to work and won't be home until after 6, the kids wanted Shelley and I to be free and able to set up the Holiday Tree since Shelley has the day off and frankly, I love the plan.

I can make myself crazy later in with cooking two very important meals, a Winter Solstice feast and then Christmas supper. So I can get my Martha Stewart on then. Besides, doing what feels right is more important than what is totally dictated by others. Oh don't get me wrong, I love tradition, I just don't feel that I have to be a slave to it. I may live in my Momma's house but she doesn't make the rules anymore. And so that wild and crazy, rule breaking kinda attitude will apply to yet another seasonal endeavor.

Which brings me to the meat and potatoes (couldn't resist) of why I am posting today. Because you notice it has been awhile.

We are celebrating the Christmas season this year. What????? That is just cra cra.

I mean there is Christmasing, decorating, making, fixing, observing and HO Ho HO coming out of the Casa. It is virtually ooooooozing outta our pores.

For the entire time that the grands and Ms. S have been back here, which would be 5 years and some months, I have been the court jester and jumping around trying to make merry, my daughter has been "reserved", and that's putting it mildly. Ms. S has had a hard time finding her Jolly Holly. Oh, she has put on a great face for the kids and has never kept them from celebrating a single thing, but the spirit of the season underneath has been....uh....forced. But not this year.

Ms. S actually surprised shocked us with her new found happy. It comes from knowing who she is and what she has accomplished and also forgiving herself for things over which she has no control. This has set her free. She has plans.....for decorating, cooking, celebrating and it is kinda scary, if you get my drift. GK asked me if her Mom was okay, I answered, "yes, finally". So officially, the holdiay season has begun for us with a no holds barred kinda flavor. Thus the plans for an early Christmas tree decorating event, along with new ornament making, and cookie baking when most folks are fixing giblets and stuffing.

Update on the grands:

GK will be having her friends over for an ugly sweater party, but with a twist. Instead of wasting money buying something that they will never wear again, the guests will be given newsprint and markers when they arrive and will be asked to draw their ugly sweater. They will also be asked to donate $10 (which is probably less than they would have had to pay for said ugliness) which will then be given to the UNM Children's hospital. That way they will have fun and give a donation to something more..... .. Proud of them for the thought of giving not getting.

GK and her nerd herd pals got together earlier this month (the six of them go to 4 different high schools). They have this pact that they will not lose track of each other and so they will be going to the amusement park here during Holiday break for a night of craziness. So happy that she has good kids as friends and they all are like minded about staying in touch. I have always been envious of folks who made the effort to stay friends with folks from their past. It is an enviable thing to have that kind of stick to it - ness.

Ry and I have a strange source to thank this Thanksgiving. Had it not been for Ry's earlier uncomfortableness and school problems that came from his fear of speaking to his dad, he and I would not have spent quality time together without anyone else around. It gave us the opportunity to talk about things that matter to him. He regaled me with all manner of Minecraft, Pokemon and Storm trooper wisdom and in between those thoughts were his feelings about his life and loves. I am blessed by knowing my grandson in a whole new way. He was blessed with finding out parts and pieces of my life as a kid and my feeling for him, his sister and their mom, Ms. S.

And all of this is thanks to someone I never would have thought I would be thankful towards, not in a million years. Thanks to Darren and Tara, without your actions I would never have had the opportunity to become even more invested and closer to the most wonderful special boy on the face of the planet.

Yep, we have it happening here at the Casa.

So get your turkey on and gobble til you wobble. Do the happy "t day" dance and shake your holiday thang.

with Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda and All the Cuckoos at the Casa

Friday, November 7, 2014

4 wheels to get me there...........

We have car fever here at Casa de Cuckoo.

Shelley and GK are getting a new car. Well not new, but new to them. It will be Shelley's transportation for awhile and then it will be GK's first car.

When dreaming of her first car, Ms. GK indicated she wanted a 60 something Volkswagen bug, of the blue color persuasion. Well if wishes were horses then GK would ride in one but....uh not so much. Although that was her "perfect car", she is thrilled about the car Mom could afford. They went to see it last night. Once again, I must state my pride in GK's ability to adapt. Someday when she can make it happen for herself, perhaps she will get the exact car she wants. And by that time, I'm sure she will have drooled over several "perfect cars".

And as is always the case, the event brought about a discussion of some length about cars and such.

 When Shelley was a teen, her first car was like this one. 1970 Datsun

My first car was like this one. 1959 Renault Dauphine (it even had a crank in the back to start it when (not if) the battery wouldn't turn over.

My favorite car was one I had in college which was an 1967 Austin Healy Sprite (only mine was yellow).

Sweet Man's first car was like this one. 1955 Oldsmobile Super

all of the photos are from the internet
When Sweet Man and I finally got to order the car of our dreams at the time, we got a 1975 Ford Fairmont Station Wagon. I was hauling Shelley's friends, the Saint Bernards, we went camping, we went on long drive vacations and this, we thought, would be the best car.  It was the perfect lemon yellow. And lived up to the color.

It was what was called in the industry a "Friday car". Built on a Friday. Cars built on Friday are 22 times more likely to have a major defect. And we caught a lucky 22 lemon slush.

When I picked it up from the dealer, a friend of ours was our salesman and he was excited for us and did all the hurry up and wait kinda things for us. We had a product called "techtor" put on the carpet so that it would resist stains and it wasn't quite dry so he put down paper floor covers for me and I proudly took possession of our car.

On the way home, Shelley told me that her side was really wet. I assured her, when we got home we would just roll down the windows and let it set in the sun to dry. Sweet Man came home early and we were going for a ride in our new car but there was about 2" of liquid on the passenger side floor. We drove it to the dealer. They checked it out and found that the radiator was not hooked up correctly and was leaking into the foot well. That was only the beginning.

That beast spent more time in the shop than in our driveway the first three months. The carberator was faulty.....three times, it was replaced. The transmission was faulty....2 times it was replaced.

I was on my way to SM's company Christmas party. I was to meet him there after work. The car stalled, for the millionth time, in my mind, in one of the busiest intersections in the city. I put on the hazzard lights, locked the doors and left it there. Yes, I got a ticket, yes, the tow truck had difficulty with the tow, yes, I was at my limit......and we have never had a Friday car again.

Oh well, it was character building right?

If you have a car, you're going to have car trouble at some point in time.

What was your first car? Was it all you thought it would be?